Graduate Spotlight: Phlenia Kiggins

 Tell us how you came to TPOM?

The prison counselors told me about TPOM. At first, I didn’t want a program but as I learned more, I decided to come.

What were some of the concerns when you first arrived?

I was a little concerned about living with other women again and all the different personalities. But God directed me at the last
minute to go ahead and come and TPOM has been a blessing.

How has TPOM been helpful with reentry?

My first job was not the job for me, but then I got a job with a commercial glass company. I  assemble the metal frames for the glass and I really enjoy the work. The program has helped me become self-sufficient. It gives you just the right amount of pressure to go ahead and spread your wings. Everyone was loving and kind to me. Programs like TPOM are very important for people who have injured their lives. It helped me be myself. If not for them, I don’t know where I’d be. 

What do you think people need to understand about incarceration?

Incarceration is very depressing without support, without knowing that you are cared about and loved. The experience is devastating if you don’t have that.

 What goals do you have for the future?

I’ve got a new apartment and I’m settling in. I would love to work with animals one day. I  also have an interest in interior decorating. We’ll see what the future holds, but for now I want to take the next step with my apartment and work my job. 

 What advice would you give others who are considering the program?

Take the opportunity that the program gives you and COMMIT. Those two ideas stuck with me. As I mentioned, at first I didn’t want a program, but then I decided to commit and I came to know that there are some who care about me and love me.

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